RIYADH: US government officials have not been invi­ted to a Saudi investment co­­nference planned for later this month, its org­aniser told AFP on Monday, saying he did not want the gathering “to become a political platform”.

The decision not to invite American officials, a departure from previous years, comes as tensions rise betw­een longtime partners Wash­­ington and Riyadh over the Saudi-led OPEC+ cartel’s recent vote to cut oil production by up to two million barrels per day from November.

The Future Investment Initiative (FII), a three-day conference set to begin on October 25 in Riyadh, typically draws Wall Street titans and high-ranking officials from around the world, and up to 400 American CEOs are expected to participate this year, said Richard Attias, CEO of the group behind the event.

It is often referred to as “Davos in the Desert”.

Saudi Arabia has in recent days rejected US accusations it has aligned itself with Russia amid the Ukraine war.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2022

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